Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Blood in the Balkans: Albanian Kosovo Police Invades Serbian-Controlled Municipalities to Depose Elected Mayors – Serbian Citizens React Violently – NATO Peacekeepers Clash With Protesters

 Tensions are flaring again between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo.

Albanian Kosovo police entered Serb majority towns in the north of the separatist region, broke through the barricades erected by the Serb population, and after fierce clashes with citizens, occupied the mayor office in the towns, preparing to replace the duly elected Serbian mayors with Albanian-backed ones.

As the Serb population converged upon these places, KFOR peacekeepers from NATO have created a buffer zone in these places, protecting the Kosovo police in the invaded buildings.

On Friday (May 28th), Albanian armored vehicles were sighted in Kosovska Mitrovica, Leposavić, and Zubin Potok, forming convoys.

Kosovo forces attempted to enter government buildings in Serb-majority towns and cities of unrecognized Kosovo, prompting furious reaction from locals who come out in force against police intrusion.


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Clashes between members of the Kosovo special forces and Serbian officers of community self-government bodies took place in the north of Kosovo – special forces used stun grenades.

Kosovo police finally managed to disperse Serb protesters who have gathered in front of city halls to prevent Albanian officials from entering.

Albanian Kosovo’s ROSU forces seize municipalities from Serbian control with casualties, and Kosovo police clash with protesting Serbs, using tear gas and stun grenades.

After the Kosovo security forces stormed the administration building of the municipality of Zubin Potok, the Albanians removed the Serbian flag and hoisted the symbol of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo.

Gunfire on the streets as Kosovo police clashed with protesters also in town of Zvecan.

Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic stated that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had signed the order to increase combat readiness and added that the situation in Kosovo and Metohija was dramatic.

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“Someone must understand that what [Kosovo PM] Albin Kurti is doing is leading us to red lines, leading to a complete collapse of the dialogue, leading to an escalation.

He confirmed that the Serbian army is urgently moving to administrative border with Kosovo.

The reaction to the clashes came from many different nations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov:

“A Big explosion could be brewing in center of Europe, the Serbs in Northern Kosovo have none of the rights they were promised by the West.”

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic:

“The Situation in unrecognized Kosovo escalating because Kosovo PM Kurti is trying to become a regional Vladimir Zelensky.”

Joint statement by France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America:

“We condemn Kosovo’s decision to force access to municipal buildings in northern Kosovo despite our call for restraint. We call on Kosovo’s authorities to immediately step back and de-escalate, and to closely coordinate with EULEX and KFOR.

[…] We are concerned by Serbia’s decision to raise the level of readiness of its Armed Forces at the border with Kosovo and call all parties for maximum restraint, avoiding inflammatory rhetoric.”

Serbia strongly criticized the NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo for failing to stop police attacks on ethnic Serbs.

Belgrade says its army will remain at highest level of combat readiness on border with Kosovo, after police clashed with protesters in Northern Kosovo towns and cities while attempting to take control of government buildings.

Actions of Kosovo police have been widely condemned both by Russia and the Western states.

But when the NATO peacekeeping KFOR forces did arrive, they proceeded to shield the Kosovo police occupying the municipal buildings, and to hold back the furious Serb protesters.

In Zvecan, the commander of NATO “peacekeepers” in unrecognized Kosovo was quoted as saying that if Serb protesters don’t leave, “it will come to shooting“.

He demanded that the assembled Serbs immediately let the Kosovo KFOR special forces vehicles through to rotate the forces.

KFOR used stun grenades and rubber bullets against the protesters, and gunshots have been heard.

Clashes also happened in Leposavić and Zubin Potok.

Injured KFOR “Peacekeepers”

Social media channels posted píctures of injured KFOR “Peacekeepers” that retreated away from conflict in Zvecan.

The situation is developing, and the stability in the Balkans hangs by a thread.

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